India, January 21, 2020: Muthoot Pappachan Foundation (MPF), the CSR arm of Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG) through their flagship programme ‘Smile Please’, in association with Mission Smile, concluded 2000 cleft surgeries in Vadodara. The endeavour of the initiative is to conduct ‘Comprehensive Cleft Care Surgery Missions’ across the country, free of cost. The Foundation in partnership with Mission Smile provides free surgical support to children affected with congenital lip and palate cleft disorders and makes effort to resolve end-to-end concerns associated with this health condition.
Commenting on the milestone, Thomas John Muthoot, Chairman and Managing Director, Muthoot Pappachan Group, said, “Cleft lip and cleft palate, is not just a cosmetic issue, but a life-threatening deformity. In most cases, it can actually be corrected surgically, however with considerable and complex aesthetic and surgical intervention. Lack of awareness and restrained access to financial and medical-infrastructural resources, especially of families belonging to the socio-economically deprived backgrounds, becomes a huge obstacle for kids to receive quality surgery and care in time. Apart from the substantial psychological impact, given the deformity is on the face of a kid, has major medical repercussions as well. In fact, for many kids, cleft deformity proves to be fatal due to malnutrition and/or infection. Understanding the enormity of the situation and the kind of deep involvement it requires, we at Muthoot Pappachan Foundation judiciously joined hands with expert cleft care organisation – Mission Smile – in 2014, to provide comprehensive cleft care programmes across the country and have been able to transform the lives of 2000 people so far. At the same time, we are also focussing on addressing the larger concern of creating awareness around the misconceptions related to superstitions around this deformity.”
Dr Prasanthkumar Nellickal, Head – Corporate Social Responsibility, Muthoot Pappachan Foundation said, “In India, 35,000 cleft cases come up every year and three infants are born with some type of cleft every hour. Muthoot Pappachan Foundation has been fortunate to be instrumental in transforming 2000 lives afflicted with cleft lip and cleft palate disorder across the nation. While complex surgery is a key part of the mission, the initiative strives at providing comprehensive care.2000 is a key milestone for us and helps fuel our drive to serve the community, but there’s still a long long way to go. In fact, we have two more upcoming missions in Pondicherry from February 23-26, and in Aurangabad from March 21-25.”
So far, Muthoot Pappachan Foundation has conducted cleft surgeries in 12 States across cities like Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Pondicherry, Nagercoil, Kottayam, Gulbarga, Goa, Vadodara and Jaipur. Employees across Muthoot Blue Group companies, viz., Muthoot Fincorp Ltd., Muthoot Microfinance Ltd. and others have voluntarily provided on-ground support, making it the largest employee engagement activity for the group. Staff from the Muthoot Blue Group branches are trained in creating awareness and identifying patients through their extensive field outreach. The latest mission at Isha Hospital, Vadodara, from January 19-23, 2020. The mission was inaugurated by Vadodara MP, Smt. Ranjanben Dhananjay Bhatt followed by thorough screening of patients. The surgeries are being performed from January 20-22, with the patients finally getting discharged on January 23, 2020.
The first Mission of Smile Please initiative was conducted at Muthoot Life Brigade Hospital, Kottayam in October 2014 in which 52 patients were given free cleft surgeries. A 40 member medical expert team across from seven States volunteered for the mission. Besides the corrective surgeries, the volunteers of Mission Smile take comprehensive care of the kids along the lines of paediatry, anaesthesia, maxillofacial and plastic surgery, child psychology, speech therapy, medicinal requirements, pre-operation tests, pathology. In addition to these, travel fares, transporting of patients, food and lodging for the patient as well as their attendants for the duration of the patient’s stay, entirely free of cost.